People in South Tyneside have helped an Alzheimer’s support charity recruit two million new supporters.
The Alzheimer’s Society says a staggering two million people have now become ‘Dementia Friends’ - including 2,760 in South Tyneside.
The charity says this support is vital - meaning one in every 30 people in England, Northern Ireland and Wales are now involved in the
biggest ever social action movement to change perceptions of dementia.
The Dementia Friends initiative was launched in 2013 to tackle stigma that results in social exclusion for people with dementia and since then it has been transforming th way people act, think and talk about the condition.
Dementia is the biggest health and social care crisis facing society today.
Someone develops the condition every three minutes and too many are facing it alone.
Oscar-nominated actress and UK Global Dementia Friends Ambassador Carey Mulligan has experienced first-hand the devastating impact of the condition, and has spoken candidly for the first time since her grandmother died with the condition earlier this year.
She said: “Dementia can devastate lives. I’ve seen first-hand through my grandmother exactly how hard it can be and find the idea of people with dementia being excluded from society deeply distressing.
“Dementia Friends has made huge strides in tackling the social isolation many people with dementia experience and the two million milestone is an incredible achievement – but we have a long way to go before society is fully accepting and need people everywhere to unite against the cruel stigma associated with dementia.”
Dementia Friends Regional Officer Joe Kirwin said: “It’s encouraging to see what a difference can be made when people become Dementia Friends. Up and down the country, people are no longer being excluded in their own communities
“The public response so far has been phenomenal, but we must not lose momentum as dementia continues to be the biggest health and social care crisis of our time.
“We need all of society to unite with us against dementia by becoming a Dementia Friend.”
Anyone can become a Dementia Friend by watching a short online video. Go to www.dementiafriends.org.uk